rishi sunak: UK PM race: Rishi Sunak wins over voters in TV debate

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak convincingly won an audience of Conservative Party members in a live televised debate with rival Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the leadership contest to elect a new Tory party leader and British Prime Minister.

Thursday night’s ‘Battle for Number 10’ on ‘Sky News’ brought the finalists face-to-face with Conservative members who have the right to vote in elections but are usually undecided about their choice. After the two contenders put forward their arguments as to why they should replace Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, onlookers were asked who they thought won the argument and chose Sunak by a show of hands.

It will be a boost for the British Indian ex-minister who has been chasing Truss in the most recent polls, with the latest poll giving her about 32 percentage points ahead of Sunak among Tory members. He was asked by an audience member and potential voter if he intended to step aside at any point in the race, given the poll numbers.

“The quick answer is no, and that’s because I’m fighting for something I really believe in and I’m bringing my ideas across the country,” Sunak replied.

“I’m going to fight incredibly hard until the last day of this campaign for each of you votes. The stakes are very high,” he said.

He was also asked why so many leading Tory ministers and figures supported Liz Truss.

“I had the broadest and greatest support at every stage of the parliamentary process,” Sunak emphasized.

“We’re all one team, we’re all one family, we’re going to get together after this and we’re going to take it to [Opposition Labour Leader] Keir Starmer and win the next election, because that’s the real prize. Many people sat around the cabinet table and also support me. I’ve actually been very humble,” he said.

The former finance minister stuck to his central plank, focusing his message on the need to get a handle on rising inflation before cutting taxes.

“But it all starts with not making the situation worse. Because if we just add fuel to the fires of this inflation spiral, all of us, all of you, will end up with higher mortgage rates, savings and pensions eating away and millions of misery,” he said. he.

It came just hours after the Bank of England warned of an impending recession when it raised interest rates. Truss insisted a recession is “not inevitable” and promised “bold” action compared to her rival’s caution.

However, Sunak dismissed accusations that it is the tax burden that is causing the recession, saying, “That’s just wrong. What causes the recession is inflation.”

Both candidates have been criticized for their various policies, including Brexit, immigration and support for the state-funded National Health Service (NHS). In a separate set of one-on-one quirks during the 90-minute program, Sunak was questioned about his personal wealth and asked about his allegedly expensive suits and shoes.

“I think the British people judge people by their character and their actions and not by their bank account,” he said to applause.

An audience member also asked if he believes he is Boris [Johnson] for your own sake”.

“I worked with the Prime Minister for a few years and he deserves huge credit for the work done during that time,” Sunak said of his former boss.

“[But]… the government was on the wrong side of an ethical issue, and enough was enough for me, but also 60 people,” he said, referring to cabinet ministers who resigned last month and forced Johnson’s hand — which led to a leadership election.

The ballots for the elections, which are estimated to be 180,000 Tory members, were sent out this week. The deadline for registering votes, either by post or online, is the evening of September 2, and the results will be announced on September 5. The winner between Truss and Sunak will take the lead as Conservative Party leader and British Prime Minister Direct Minister.

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